Painting

by craigepplin

Also relevant to the question of speed, following up on my last post and also this older one, is this video by Francis Alÿs, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

I’m thinking about how it thematizes different paces of work (his own labor painting the median versus the labor contained in the ships that pass in the background). He seems to want to introduce a delay into the general pace of things. This essay by Boris Groys is helpful in this regard; it also looks at Alÿs’s work as an experiment with time, though with less explicit a focus on labor itself. Groys is more concerned with the idea of wasted effort, and thus the work he mentions comprises an “activity with no beginning and no end, no definite result or product.” Of course, there is a product here, Alÿs’s own name and artistic brand, both under constant construction and maintenance. Whether we can extricate this aspect of his labor from the artisanal work he models remains, to me, an open question.